The potential health effects of our exposure to plastics have been unclear, but that is starting to change. Today’s release of the first-ever life-cycle analysis of the human-health impacts of plastic, titled “Plastic and Health: The Hidden Costs of a Plastic Planet,” marks a turning point in our understanding of plastic’s direct risk to our bodies.
The new report — authored by Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), Earthworks, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), Healthy Babies Bright Futures (HBBF), IPEN, Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services (t.e.j.a.s.), University of Exeter and UPSTREAM — shows that plastic is in fact affecting human health.
Oceana’s chief policy officer, Jacqueline Savitz, released this statement following today’s announcement:
“Plastic has now permeated our air, our soil, our water and our bodies, and the consequences cannot be ignored. Companies cannot continue hiding behind waste-management solutions like recycling, which will not be enough unless they also dramatically reduce plastic use and switch to alternative delivery systems.
This new report provides further evidence of plastic’s detrimental effects on a global scale — and it’s more personal than ever. Plastic is impacting human health through every single stage of its life cycle, from extraction and production to consumer use, and it is entering our food chain. The risks to human health begin long before plastic even makes it onto store shelves, providing yet another reason why waste-management efforts alone can’t reverse this crisis.
We need companies to take responsibility for plastic’s effects on our health and the environment, stop wasting time with false solutions and turn to sustainable alternatives to plastic before it’s too late.”
To learn more about Oceana’s new campaign to stop plastic pollution, please visit www.oceana.org/plastics.